MLB NL Playoff Races

It’s about that time of year in the MLB. Teams can now no longer say the season is still young; the time to win is now if you want to make the playoffs.

Last week we covered the AL races to the playoffs and this week we’ll look over the NL. Last year, the St. Louis Cardinal made the playoffs out of the NL on the last day of the regular season and ended up winning the World Series. Every single race in the NL is tightly contested, and will most likely go down to the last week of the season.

Who will shock the world next? (Jeff Roberson/AP)

East

Now that the New York Mets and Miami Marlins have expectedly collapsed, the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves are in a two-horse race for the division.

In his last season with the Braves, Chipper will help them win the division. (Scott Rovak, US Presswire)

Although the Braves are scorching hot, winning seven games in a row, they are still behind the Nationals by 2.5 games. All season long I’ve had the feeling that the Nationals are playing the role of overachiever. I still have that feeling, and I can’t seem to shake it off. The Braves will somehow, someway, steal the division in Chipper Jones’s last year.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves
Central

Is this the year the Pittsburgh Pirates end a 19 year streak of losing seasons and win their division? The Cincinnati Reds will do everything in their power to stop that, and with a 2.5 game lead on the Pirates they’re doing a pretty good job thus far.

With Andrew McCutchen having an MVP type season and hitting an insane .373, the Pirates surely won’t have another losing season. They’ll need to do more than just stay above  .500 in order to win the division; and they will.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Pirates.

With the help of Andrew McCutchen the Pirates will finally make the playoffs after 19 long years (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

West

The Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants and LA Dodgers are all currently in contention, but in my mind this is a race between the Giants and the Dodgers.

The Giants hold  a 1.5 game lead over the Dodgers going into today. Both made significant trades to bolster their teams, but the Giants picking up Hunter Pence may be the difference. If their championship caliber pitching would just wake up, they’ll have this division well in hand.

Prediction-  San Francisco Giants

Wild Card

This a bit easier of a pick for me. Since I have the Pirates stealing the west, and the Braves getting away with the East, the teams they robbed will slide right into the Wild Card, right?

Wrong. The Reds will snatch up a Wild Card, but I predict a collapse by a young Nationals team, allowing the Champs to once again sneak into the postseason.

Prediction Cincinnati Reds; St. Louis Cardinals  

 

Stay tuned for a breakdown of the NL next time!

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